: Symbol :Posted: June 24, 2015 Filed under: Kindness, Meditation, Mindfulness, Yoga | Tags: Awareness, Being, Body Image, Buddhism, Creativity, kindness, meditation, mental health, Omaha, Society, Symbolism, Tattoo, writing, yoga 7 Comments
Then there is the other secret. There isn’t any symbolysm [sic]. The sea is the sea. The old man is an old man. The boy is a boy and the fish is a fish. The shark are all sharks no better and no worse. All the symbolism that people say is shit. What goes beyond is what you see beyond when you know-
Do you have a favorite “thing” to which you identify with? Cycling, yoga, running, under water basket weaving? Listening to music? Flags? Religion? Sports teams? Society is increasingly being swallowed whole by the symbol based experience – I’m a cyclist, a super flexi-wanderlust-yogi, a weekend 5k master and a LvL 5 underwater basket weaver. Dear Reader, it’s time we remembered what we truly are – Timeless beings, trapped in a physical body. How much time do we spend doing “something” that does not signify something else, to someone else? How often do we take a break from our intensely representational world?
When I arrived home yesterday after work, I had the sense that I needed to “tune down” the processed, symbol based day I had so far, to a fairly unprocessed natural evening. I quite enjoy practicing mindful meditation while walking our dog. Thinking of nothing is really hard as the two of us meander along in the rain … “Why are our neighbors hopelessly obsessed with keeping their yard pristine? Oh this is nice! A sprinkler system running during a rain storm! This elm tree is interesting, I wonder how many cicadas are calling it home at the moment? Why are cicadas so damn loud? Really Dude – You are seriously going to pee on their trash bins?!?” I do remember one wonderful meditation experience I had recently in Utah, when I was able to just be aware of my physical self and surroundings, apart from the cultural and the social layering of interpretations the world flippantly heaves upon us. That is to say, I understood what I was as a being, not as a social identity – A middle-aged white male from Nebraska. Someone who is often associated with competing because I enjoy riding a bike and racing. Some dude who goes to yoga class to be “seen” … This experience was wonderfully freeing, and when I ended my session, I felt that I had returned to my life, – Being, with a renewed sense of energy, because I was choosing to take up my name (Jeremy), and eschewing everything else that society neatly fits me, us into. In stillness, I placed my name down for a short time, laid down all the symbols that help me process and live in this cruel world, and for a moment, I was able to just – Be.
I said aloud to our dog as we stepped back inside – “My identity ultimately does not depend on these “things” in order to exist.” He looked at me inquisitively and proceeded to lick his belly.
The real world, a world without symbols, mass shootings and senseless violence. The world outside of “whatever”, outside of our roles? Is more splendid than we know it to be.
It is easy to go after a symbol, especially one I know little about, as the culprit of our ills. It’s easy because this is something I can do, this is something I can be for, without really knowing what it is that I’m for.
The truth is, I’m from freakin’ Michigan. The little I do know of the Confederate flag was taught to me more than 25 years ago, and there’s a fair chance I wasn’t paying attention. For this reason, I despise the loser who committed the egregious act, but I’ll leave the debate over their flag to those who know a little bit more than I do about it.
Imagine that, being okay with being ignorant… It’s bliss don’t you know. 😎
Far better that than opening my mouth and displaying my ignorance to others.
You know you are in trouble discussing this with others when the first words of their collective mouths is “… Yeah, but …” It’s tedious and hard to engage in a meaning discussion when prefaced as such 🙂
Wise man once said- You can take the confederate flag shirt off but the hate still remains inside the person wearing it. Same can be said for Cleveland Browns fans!
That is to say, I understood what I was as a being, not as a social identity – A middle-aged white male from Nebraska
Nor as a demographic for a census.
I was just thinking about symbols today…of flags and Mt. Rushmore. Sometimes terror is in the eye of the beholder, sometimes it’s just in poor taste, and other times, it’s just a piece of cloth or a mountain carved to look like four white, men. And then i started thinking about semiotics, which kind of made my brain hurt. so i stopped.
… It’s also why I’m sitting on our porch, cold drink in hand, dog close by, simply watching the grass grow.
What when you, us become a symbol? Say folks come up to you to hang out because for them you are a symbol of fun, a symbol of craziness, a symbol of joy and happiness… what when you are a symbol of sunshine? Why else would people call you as such? To be a symbol then can be a good thing… =)
How deep do you want to dig into this? Basically, with a tremendously broad perspective – Symbols represent “things” outside of our physical being. Using your Google Machine search – -Terror Management Theory –
i’m a stranger to my name
i see the letters strung
together a name
that’s what they call
but whom do they hark
how do you name
a river of thoughts
constantly changing course
carving new beds
drying some old
the tag that binds
one constricting body
i go by no name
how can i
there is no i